Road trip North Rim, Zion, Bryce

Old Sep 7th, 2016, 08:16 AM
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Road trip North Rim, Zion, Bryce

We are planning a two week road trip next September and part of our proposed itinery will take us from the Grand Canyon North Rim to Zion and then on to Bryce. Would it make sense for us to travel to Zion via route 389/59 rather than entering Zion via route 9 since this would avoid backtracking on our way to Bryce.
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Old Sep 7th, 2016, 08:51 AM
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Where will you be before and after this part of the trip? I like the approach to Zion via route 9 through the tunnel, and the order of visiting the 3 parks would depend on where I was coming from/going to on the whole trip.

This map/mileage list that was posted long ago by another fodorite is one I found helpful:

http://ohiohickstraveltips.weebly.co...-utah-map.html
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Old Sep 7th, 2016, 09:55 AM
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Thanks for the link, it is really helpful. Our planned route is to fly into Phoenix and drive to Williams to take the Grand Canyon railroad to the south rim. After returning to Williams our route would be:
North Rim
Zion
Bryce
Captitol Reef/Torrey
Moab/Arches/Canyonlands
Monument Valley
Lake Powell/Page
Sedona
Fly out of Phoenix
A total of 16 days
Obviously there will be a bit of back tracking which is fine.
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Old Sep 7th, 2016, 11:10 AM
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The 2 routes are virtually identical in mileage and drive time (as long as you take the back roads to get from 59 to 9). If you choose the 389/59 option, you may as well visit Pipe Spring National Monument along the way.

Also, unless you have an extreme fascination with trains, the Grand Canyon railroad is not a good use of your time. It would be far better to drive yourself to the Grand Canyon, stay overnight and move on from there rather than take the train to/from Williams.
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Old Sep 7th, 2016, 07:34 PM
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I agree with Midwest-Hiker regarding the train from Williams. The ride in does not have any views of the canyon, you don't get those until you are at the rim. I would want to spend the night at one of the lodges on the rim, see sunset/sunrise, hike a bit along the rim trail and down into the canyon.
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Old Sep 8th, 2016, 04:44 AM
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Hmmm, maybe I should rethink the train. My husband and I live in Maryland and are in our sixties. Although fairly active we are not avid hikers and we know our limitations. My husband is a big fan of trains so I thought this ride would be a way of mixing it up a bit. (We rode the wine train in Napa and we enjoyed it for what it was worth.) We did intend to spend the night at the canyon.

We would apprecitate any suggestions for easy hikes.

As for the route into Zion, my husband is an intrepid driver but I am a white knuckle passenger and hate switchbacks. I was just trying to avoid driving on route 9 twice. But if the view on entering the park is somehting to be seen than by all means we will go that way.

Thanks for your advice!
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Old Sep 8th, 2016, 04:59 AM
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In Grand Canyon, the hiking along the rim trail is really more of a walk. West of Bright Angel Lodge there is also a park service bus that goes along a road to Hermit's rest parallel to the rim trail and stops several places along the way. You can walk a while and when you feel tired take the next bus to the next stop and walk some more or just ride the bus and get off at the view points.

Bright Angel trail is quite gentle and pretty wide so I would go down into the canyon a way on it. If you want an idea of if it would be ok for you, I have some pictures of us on at

www.flickr.com/photos/emalloy2009

scroll down the page to see them.

There is a train that my brother took from somewhere near Sedona that went through some very beautiful areas that might be a better choice. I think it was Verde valley.
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Old Sep 8th, 2016, 05:08 AM
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Thanks for sharing your photos, they are awesome! The Bright Angel trail looks good, I am all about wide!

We have a friend who took the train ride in Sedona and loved it. I will look into it as an alternative.
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Old Sep 8th, 2016, 08:28 AM
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The best part about the Bright Angel trail is that it goes down below the rim a little (or a long) way into the canyon.

The bad part is you have to come back up - the ascent takes twice as long.
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Old Sep 8th, 2016, 09:06 AM
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http://verdecanyonrr.com/


>>We would apprecitate any suggestions for easy hikes.
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Old Sep 9th, 2016, 05:07 AM
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>>The bad part is you have to come back up - the ascent takes twice as long.>>

Point well taken J62. Probably good advice in general when hiking in canyons!

Thanks MidwestHiker for your trail suggestions, which I have noted. (Not sure about Canyon Overlook and Horsehoe Bend)
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